Minnesota At San Antonio
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
The San Antonio Spurs secured the second seed for the Western Conference playoffs, even after limping down the stretch with six losses in their last nine games. The Spurs could have their top three scorers back in the lineup as they look to finish the regular season strong against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. Coach Gregg Popovich said Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard will likely return after missing the 116-106 loss to Golden State on Monday with injuries.
Point guard Ricky Rubio recorded his first career triple-double as the Timberwolves beat the Spurs at Minnesota 107-83 on March 12, but they have dropped 16 straight in San Antonio since 2004. Minnesota has only 10 victories away from home, and is missing the postseason for the ninth straight season. Timberwolves’ scoring threat Nikola Pekovic has missed the last three games with a left calf contusion and is doubtful.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, WFTC (Minnesota), Fox Sports Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (30-51): Minnesota has lost four of the last five games as it winds down an injury-plagued season. The Timberwolves have been without former All-Stars Kevin Love and Brandon Roy, who played a combined 23 games. Rubio also missed the first part of the season while recovering from knee surgery and has had some big games since, though he is shooting only 35.9 percent. Second-year pro Derrick Williams had a better second half and is averaging 14.3 points over the last four contests, and scored a team-high 18 points in the 96-80 loss to Utah on Monday.
ABOUT THE SPURS (58-23): Popovich said his team’s focus has not been where it needs to be the last three or four weeks. The Spurs must find their best form fast as they prepare to play either Houston, Golden State or the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Parker, having his second-best scoring season (20.4) in the NBA, has been hampered by neck and ankle injuries. Leonard and Duncan have experienced knee soreness. Manu Ginobili, who has missed the last nine games with a strained right hamstring, is also close to a return. Popovich said if the veteran guard is ready to play, he’ll play.
1. San Antonio is 35-5 at home, third in the NBA behind Denver (37-3) and Miami (36-4) in the league.
2. G Luke Ridnour has a chance to be the only Minnesota player to get minutes in all 82 games.
3. Duncan needs 18 rebounds in the finale to average a double-double for the first time since 2009-10.
PREDICTION: Spurs 102, Timberwolves 85
Stats and Records
San Antonio Off vs
103.1 Points For
98.1 Points Against